Cape Coral leaders brainstorm blue-green algae mitigation tactics

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Small concentrations of blue-green algae visible in Cape Coral water in May 2021. Credit: WINK News.

Cape Coral leaders are taking action before algae conditions make their way down the Caloosahatchee River.

The City of Cape Coral is preparing for the impact of blue-green algae in neighborhood canals.

It’s a crisis newcomers don’t want to see or live with and people who were there in 2018 don’t want back.

There is just enough blue-green algae visible in Clipper Bay in Cape Coral to remind neighbors about what they lived through in 2018.

“We had algae that small cats can walk on,” said Jim Collier, the waterway advisory chair in Cape Coral.

The algae is enough to get the city to sign off on installing a bubble curtain in some Cape Coral canals.

“The bubble curtain was shown to be at least marginally effective, partially effective,” Collier said. “Anything is better than nothing.”

The water advisory council, the environmental resources division and public works also talked about activating an emergency management call center to provide weekly water quality reports

Leaders also proposed pushing state and federal lobbyists to influence policy changes for Lake Okeechobee releases.

The water advisory council also talked about how to possibly recover costs from the state or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for algae problems created elsewhere.

“We don’t need to be cleaning up someone else’s mess every two years at a drastic level with a lot of funding and city employees out there doing it,” Collier said.

Collier told us those talks will be private.

Cape Coral City Council will hear more about the plan to fight the blue green algae early in June.

The estimated costs for mitigation efforts are close to $1 million.

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